Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 22 & 23 - OVER the Mountain and into the Rain!

Yesterday (Day 22) was a Monday. We did not get to post because had NO wifi signal. We were literally out in the middle of nowhere climbing a mountain :) If you've ever been to the area.....or if you want to look at a map. We rode between Three-Way, AZ and Gila, NM. The locals called the mountain pass we came over "Mule Creek"...we decided half way up that it must have gotten it's name because long ago a mule would have been the only way to get over it?? The climb was about 9 miles of switch backs, but the actual climb was over 15 miles total. If you've seen the Tour de France, it seemed very similar to those they climb where the road just twists and turns all the way up the mountain. I'm not sure of the actual average grade, but my guess would be somewhere around 7% average (according to most of the road signs we saw) with sections of over 15 mixed in. The climb itself was around 4000 ft in elevation so not really that terrible, but when we got to the top we were well over the 5000 feet mark. We couldn't find an actual elevation sign to confirm the exact elevation. It was a real "stinker hill" according to CJ!! Check the facebook page "CJ's Rides for a Reason" for video! Although the climb was tough it was so rewarding in it's views from the top! The sky was clear and you could literally see for hundreds of miles! We tried to take pictures but honestly they just don't do it justice. We did of course leave our "mark" on the guard rail at the top! (Those who are without sin cast the first stone lol)
The climb was grand, but unfortunately the downhill was lack luster! We only came back down around 1000 feet or so. It wasn't very curvy and Craig made CJ go slower than normal because it was beginning to rain. At the "bottom" the rain had already come and gone and there were several places where the water had washed over the roads. We got a little wet there but no too bad. Later in the day it started raining for real and we got drenched about 10 miles before our destination. Total mileage for the day was 51, a HARD 51!
Last night we stayed in the church parking lot at Gila Valley Baptist Church. Thanks to Pastor Tar and his wife for the warm greeting :) and for letting us use the water and power while we were there. Katie made fried chicken, zucchini squash, and macaroni and cheese for supper (yeah,yeah Josh from Clemmon's Bike we here ya, it was not so healthy, but it was YUMMY and the boys gobbled it up). Life in an RV with no dishwasher, washer and dryer, or cable TV has been a great experience for everyone and is teaching the boys some great life skills (hand washing dishes, using a laundry mat, reading a good book) and helping us all to be grateful for the luxuries of home! We do miss our two favorite dishwashers, Bernie and Bob!! :)
This morning we got up to ride, but only made it about 6 miles. Yesterday during the rain CJ had rubbed a raw spot from the wet shorts rubbing against him and today although he tried, it was just hurting too bad to keep riding. SO we stopped and spent the day at a local RV park doing some needed school work and bus repairs while keeping the Destin fresh on the raw skin. We were praying that tomorrow he would not be sore and be able to ride. Honestly we are blessed for this to be the first unplanned break day. Many cyclists would not make it this far without a day like this.
This afternoon Craig changed the fuel filters on the bus. We had been noticing that it was lagging uphills and acting fuel starved so we figured that this may be the cause. After he changed them, their seemed to be air in the lines and the bus would not start. He tinkered on it for a while, and emptied the can of started fluid that he had, but the bus would still not crank and stay running. It was getting dark and we were out of starter fluid so we gave up for the night and prayed more. The pastor from the church we stayed at last night did bring us a can of starter fluid (THANKS!) so we are praying that in the morning with that, and God's help, it will crank and stay running!
Overnight tonight we need two healings....one for CJ's raw skin and one for the bus! We will update you tomorrow :)


  1. God knows exactly want we need before we do and He's already working in the details....how awesome is that?!?!? So glad to hear the positive learning experiences! Praying for every detail and claiming God's promises of protection and provision!

  2. I sure miss washing those dishes! Moleskin might be good for the sore.Healing is the best thing.He's got it in him to make up the miles and stay on course.Do what's needed. I sat out for 9 days, if you recall, with a pinched nerve in my back.Ride on! Peace and love. Bernie.